Telemann’s Music parlor – Wilhelmsthal castle near Eisenach

Long before Hermann Prince of Pückler-Muskau made the Wilhelmsthal to the highlight of the extraordinary parklands in the western Thuringia forest in the 19th century, the serenades of Georg Philipp Telemann were already singing of its beauty and special atmosphere. At the beginning of the 18th century, Duke Johann Wilhelm of Sachsen-Eisenach had the town that carries his name prepared for courtly hunting and festivities.

Schloss Wilhemsthal

Based on the model of the then famous royal summer residence Marly near Paris, the Wilhelmsthal castle was constructed of individuals pavilions arranged along a main axis. With the castle’s construction, the “Fürstliche Ballet”, one of the oldest freestanding concert halls in Europe, was also created. With its magnificent stuccoed ceiling and renowned acoustic, the hall is now known as the “Telemannsaal” (Telemann’s Hall). There, several of the serenades that Telemann composed for the Eisenacher Hof between 1716 and 1725 had their world premieres.

The Duchess of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach liked to use the castle and grounds as a summer residence and repeatedly had them added on to and changed beginning in the late 18th century. The Telemannsaal was remodeled around 1800 with the addition of the colonnade and the opposed pavilion of the New Castle. Around that time, the baroque garden was transformed into a spacious landscape park with picturesque views that received its last artistic imprint from Prince Pückler sometime after 1853.

Schloss Wilhelmsthal | © Marco Borggreve

Schloss Wilhelmsthal | © Marco Borggreve

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